Grand Jury Lauds County Departments for Eco-friendly Practices

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The Orange County Grand Jury in the past has issued reports critical of projects intended to improve our environment, including light rail, cleaning up Aliso Creek and, most recently, the Orange County Great Park.

Today, the grand jury issued a report titled "Orange County Goes Green" that lauds three county programs for their environmentally conscious practices and commitments to protecting natural resources.

The agencies are John Wayne Airport, OC Waste & Recycling and the County Executive Office's Procurement Department.

Read the report here.

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OC Waste & Recycling, which the report hails as "one of the most cost-conscious agencies in the county--and one of the most respected in the nation," is singled out for capturing methane gas from the county's Frank R. Bowerman Landfill, converting it into liquid natural gas, and then selling it to power local bus and truck fleets. 

The department is also lauded for protecting the natural environment in its management of county landfills and Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers, with recycling outreach and self-hauled waste surcharges getting the credit for diverting such waste 70 percent from the landfills.
 
The Procurement Department gets the nod for developing the OC Green Fair, which was inspired by the Board of Supervisors' adoption of an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy.  The policy established guidelines that encourage county agencies to obtain eco-friendly goods.

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Duke would be proud.
John Wayne Airport was cited for several examples of good environmental stewardship, including early implementation of water conservation, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, air quality, noise abatement and recycling practices. 

Fleet vehicles like taxi cabs and parking shuttles at SNA are required to use compressed natural gas. Aircraft there have decreased their fuel costs and substantially reduced carbon emissions by using ground-based electrical power for cooling aircraft, rather than onboard auxiliary power units, when they are parked at the gate. Nearly half of the refuse collected
from aircraft and facilities at the airport is recycled and all used fuel, oil and solvents are re-used.
 
"These county departments have demonstrated innovation by developing environmentally sustainable practices and policies so that we can remain conscientious stewards of our great county for many generations to come," Janet Nguyen, the chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors, says in a statement announcing the report's release.
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